Tuesday, May 02, 2017

For the Sake of the Common Good

Pic: Andy Jameson

There go the ships,
    and Leviathan that you formed to sport in it.

Psalm 104:26  (NRSV)

There is plenty of gloom and doom about the environment of our precious planet, just about anywhere you look. The Great Barrier Reef is dying, air pollution cloaks the major cities of a number of countries, and economic recklessness appears to Trump care for the Earth. As Christians we are called to be hopeful people but it's tough to proclaim resurrection joy in the midst of a grim prognosis for our ecosystems.

There are the encouraging reports in the midst of the tales of woe, and we should pay attention. Some of the rivers which flow through great cities are actually getting healthier, and there is the wildlife to prove it. Recently a British Olympic swimmer took a photo of what appears to be a porpoise in the Thames, once the open sewer for London. An August 2015 survey by the Zoological Society of London found marine life was thriving in the Thames, with regular sightings of whales, dolphins, porpoises and seals in the river.

There are now whale-watching tours in New York City's Hudson River. The sightings include humpback whales, one of nature's most spectacular show-offs, and great white sharks.

New York whale

Needless to say, these reports don't cancel out the global issues of climate change and our apparent rush toward self destruction. They are reminders that we can do better, we can alter bad habits for the sake of the common good.

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